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Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Graduation Parade


Surviving Air Force Basic Training

Airmen participate in a rite of passage shared by all enlisted Airmen - the Basic Military Training graduation parade. The parade of 15 squadrons marks the end of the eight-week training period.

Official USAF Photo

The graduation parade begins the day after the coin ceremony and retreat ceremony (Friday). Usually the parade begins at 1100 (11:00 AM). During the hottest summer months, the graduation parade begins at 0900 (9:00 AM). Your friends and family will meet at the reception center where they will ride busses to the parade grounds. You, however, will not be so lucky. Your flight will march, in your nifty blue uniforms to the parade ground, which is about 3/4 of a mile from the dormitory area. You'll get there early, and stand in formation for about an hour, waiting for all the guests to arrive and get seated. Don't worry. By this time you have plenty of practice standing in formation for long periods of time.

The graduation parade begins at 1100 or 0900 (depending on the season), and is over surprisingly quickly. When I attended my daughters' graduation, I expected the parade (with speeches) to last a full hour, but it barely lasted 30 minutes. Your flight will pass in review, looking sharp, some high-ranking person will make a short speech, and then you'll confirm your commitment to the Air Force by re-taking the oath of enlistment. Upon completion, the recruits are dismissed and everyone in the stands gets to rush down and congratulate them (after they find you). You can ride on the bus back with your loved ones to the reception center, or, you can choose to walk back with them.

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